Casten Secures Additional Funding for Small Businesses, Hospitals, Health Care Workers, and Testing

April 23, 2020
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) voted for H.R. 266, The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act. The bill strengthens the Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provides additional funds for our hospitals and health care workers, and expands testing.

Casten said, “Today’s vote was a crucial step toward ensuring our small businesses owners, hospitals and health care workers have the support they need. I’ve consistently advocated and fought to ensure this package included relief for our small business community, while also protecting those on the front line of this pandemic. I’m pleased this bill includes important resources as well as investments in testing, which is a key part of the effort to reopen our economy.

“There’s no question more work needs to be done. I’ll keep pushing for additional funds specifically to state and local governments so they can continue vital services and receive necessary resources.”

Specifically the bill:

  • Makes improvements in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by setting aside $60 billion within PPP to ensure access to this assistance for many small businesses in underserved rural and urban areas that have been unable to participate in the program so far.
  • Strengthens the Paycheck Protection Program by providing $310 billion in additional funding.
  • Expands small business support beyond the PPP program by securing $50 billion for SBA disaster lending, translating into more than $350 billion in loans, and $10 billion for SBA disaster grants.
  • Provides $75 billion for our hospitals and our health care workers, which can be used to meet such needs as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
  • Provides $25 billion to expand COVID-19 testing with $11 billion of that dedicated for states, which is the key to reopening our economy and resuming our lives.  Also requires the Administration to submit to Congress a federal COVID-19 strategic testing plan.

Earlier this month, Casten sent a letter to House Leadership outlining priorities he has heard directly from 6th district residents. Specifically, Casten highlights the need for increased resources for our healthcare providers, personal protective equipment (PPE), expansion of testing, and immediate relief to our small businesses. These recommendations are a result of conversations with Illinois business owners during the four webinars Casten has hosted with Illinois SBA District Director, Robert Steiner and various telephone town halls he has hosted. Casten also launched a small business resource page and a resource page for medical providers on his website to provide information to small businesses and nonprofits and health care workers across Illinois’ 6th district. Casten will host another small business webinar on Saturday.